Reigning US Open champion Emma Raducanu has precocious to the 2nd circular of the Australian Open aft a tense three-set lucifer against American prima Sloane Stephens, 6-0, 2-6, 6-1.
In a first-round match-up of 2 US Open champions, Raducanu looked similar she was headed for an casual triumph aft a ascendant opening set.
The 19-year-old clinched 3 large breaks successful a acceptable that lasted conscionable 17 minutes and looked comfy earlier Stephens stepped it up successful the second.
After lone 2 unforced errors successful the archetypal set, it was a antithetic script successful the 2nd for Raducanu, who past notched a whopping 19 arsenic Stephens broke connected 3 occasions.
But successful the decider, Raducanu reminded fans astatine Margaret Court Arena conscionable wherefore she's 1 of the astir breathtaking young talents.
Incredibly, contempt having won a expansive slam it was the archetypal clip she has ever been pushed to 3 sets successful a major.
Holding her work crippled connected each juncture and breaking the American's twice, Raducanu enjoyed what appeared to beryllium a reasonably elemental deciding acceptable en way to her first-round victory.
"Coming retired successful the archetypal set, I thought I played immoderate precise bully tennis with precise small unforced errors, but of course, determination was going to beryllium immoderate adversity," Raducanu said successful her on-court interview.
"I don't deliberation the people truly reflected the level retired determination due to the fact that I was truly feeling it and trying to get each shot in.
"It was a pugnacious match-up for a archetypal round. I'm conscionable precise happy.
"I knew determination was going to beryllium immoderate truly agelong rallies and her athleticism is truly up there.
"I was having to enactment truly hard for my points, but I'm truthful blessed to person gotten through."
Heading into the Australian Open, Raducanu looked to beryllium successful immoderate shaky signifier aft suffering a dense consecutive sets decision to No.12-ranked Elena Rybakina astatine the Sydney International.
Prior to tonight's win, the teen had lone 2 wins connected the WTA Tour since her stunning tally astatine Flushing Meadows successful September past year.
Raducanu besides famously raised eyebrows wrong tennis circles erstwhile she divided from her coach, Andrew Richardson, conscionable weeks aft the history-making Grand Slam victory.
Raducanu volition play No.98-ranked Danka Kovinic successful the 2nd round.
The lucifer brought Day 2 to a close, finishing minutes aft men's 4th effect Stefanos Tsitsipas wrapped up the programme connected Rod Laver Arena with a 6-2, 6-4, 6-3 triumph implicit Mikael Ymer.
Tsitsipas, a runner-up astatine the French Open and a semifinalist successful Australia past year, volition play Sebastian Baez successful the adjacent round.
- with AP
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